Commissioners vote to renew citywide emergency call system, approve loan for convention center roof

It was business as usual during the Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday night. Two of the major issues passed concerned a renewal of the contract for the city’s automated emergency calling system and a vote to approve a loan for the Ardmore Convention Center.

Robert Newell, director of information technology, described the ConnectCTY system.

“ConnectCTY is the application that we use to do emergency calls. It allows us to make 13,000 phone calls in one minute,” Newell said. He noted that in addition to notifying citizens of time-sensitive emergency situations, the city also uses it to notify city employees of changes in scheduling or work requirements. 

Newell said that the system has been serving the city well for more than seven years. He added the cost of $27,040.50 is a budgeted item and did not increase in cost from 2018.

Commissioners also voted for the Ardmore Tourism Authority to procure a loan in the amount of $537,640 to help fund repairs to the roof of the Ardmore Convention Center. In a letter to City Manager J.D. Spohn dated April 3, 2019, ATA President Mita Bates said the repairs will include the replacement of approximately 51,300 square feet of the roof, replacement of the canopy roofing, repair and replacement of the standing seam roof, along with waterproofing and some interior repairs.

ATA Vice-President Tyler Young attended the meeting and pointed out that the building is 15 years old. He said the amount of money spent on roof repairs has risen greatly over the past few years.

“In the last two years we’ve put almost $30,000 into repairs into the roof alone,” Young said. He noted the resulting water damage has created some structural issues and interior repairs that now need to be addressed.

City Clerk Ken Campbell said the entire project will cost around $1.4 million and that the ATA plans on using $425,000 they currently have in surplus funds before using money from the loan. The new loan will be added to the outstanding loan already in place for the Convention Center, bringing the total outstanding loan amount to $1 million.